Perfect storm in Abu Dhabi
No, there is no perfect storm in Abu Dhabi, but you will understand what i mean through this article!
My first trip to Dubai was in June of 2008 and it was also the most eventful. New traveller then (my second trip abroad) I, my husband, my daughter and my parents decided to visit Dubai and planned this trip. Non of us read anything about the country. We went to the airport carrying 36 bottles of water while the person who made us the check in asked us about what was inside the luggage (it was really heavy). The moment we answered and said our destination he started laughing and cheating us. Till now i feel embarrassed!!! We visited every place that tourist offices marked as interest point. We went for a walk in the gold souk (if you plan to go, bargain a lot), we had a dhow cruise and went in every shopping mall. One day we decided to go for a ride to Abu Dhabi.
During our ride with the limo that we had rent, my husband who is crazy about photos, started photoshooting all of our ride. Little bit outside from Abu Dhabi, an amazing building poped out. We decided to stop to ask a person who was there about how to go to the city center. When the car stopped and before doing anything, we saw 4 guns helding from soldiers who shouted : get out of the car immediately!!!
My daughter started crying, my parents in panic, me and my husband stared to each other. The soldiers opened the doors and took my husband who was holding the camera. I run behind him because he doesn' t speak English and left my parents and my daughter in the car. Yes, we were in prison before we realized why this was happening! A person was in an empty room and i asked him what this place was. He answered me: Here is the air base of Abu Dhabi and this is its prison. We panicked but seconds after we relaxed and told to each other that we had nothing to worry about because we were innocent. A person came minutes after and lead us to an office. We were under interrogation for more than two hours. They asked information about us like where are you from, in which hotel have you booked, when is your departure etc.
When they realized that we are tourists and nothing else, they told us that the photoshooting of that area was forbitten and there was a sign in the highway. They apologized about the fact with the guns, they called inside my parents and my daughter and treated us coffee, cake and juices. After almost two or three hours (i don' t remember from my stress) they let us go. Now some years after,when we tell this story start laughing. That unlucky moment didn' t stop me from going to Dubai almost every year. I have local friends there now who helped me to discover the city like a local.
Every time i go my new family waits me there, from mother Samira to my best friend Khuloud (like a sister for me). You have nothing to worry about when you respect every country you visit and when you are careful about any signs of what is forbitten and what not do in the place you visit.